Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly post featuring five things that caught my attention this week. The cold weather finally hit NYC today, it was bitter outside while running errands.
1) I love getting book mail and today I received my Stories & Suspects Mystery Box from Bantam Publishing. This one has some terrific books, including Parini Shroff's The Bandit Queens, a book everyone has been buzzing about. It's a debut novel about a young woman in India who is falsely rumored to have killed her husband. But soon other women come to her asking for her help and she has a new side hustle. Liv Constantine's upcoming The Senator's Wife is a suspense novel about a DC philathropist whose employee appears to be plotting to steal her life. Heather Darwent's literary suspense The Things We Do To Our Friends, is another debut set in at a university that looks like it will appeal to Donna Tart's The Secret History fans (like me). You know I like a cozy mystery set in a bookshop, so Ann Claire's Dead and Gondola will be at the top of my TBR list. C.J. Tudor's The Drift about three people fighting to survive in a snowstorm where something deadly is occuring is a timely read for this frigid weekend. I read Lisa Lutz's The Accomplice last year and loved the story of two friends-Owen and Luna- who met in college and became best friends. Owen's college girlfriend dies in an accident casting doubt on him and then 20 years later his wife (and Luna's friend) is murdered. What secrets are Owen and Luna keeping from each other and everyone else? They also included a container of Republic of Tea Earl Greyer blend, which will come in handy over the next few days.
2) Speaking of tea, we visited The Spice & Tea Exchange in St. Armand's Circle in Sarasota and I picked up a new blend- Cranberry Apple Tart. It was delicious and warmed me right up after running errands in 20 degree weather today.
3) We found a new restaurant called 1592 Wood Fired Kitchen & Cocktails located on Main Street in Sarasota last week. It's got a Mediterranean menu and a really cool looking interior. They hung old doors to separate the bar area high top tables from the dining area and the lighting was visually appealing too. I ordered Zucchini Beignets, friend zucchini in the shape of beignets (donuts found in New Orleans) served over a tzatiki sauce that was very tasty. We will return.
4) I love a good comedy special and Amazon Prime Video has a new Nate Bargatze special -Hello, World. Nate is a very funny comedian, hailing from Tennessee. I laughed from beginning to end at this one, with jokes about growing up in a conservative Christian family, getting older, and golfing with his wife among his best. He is a clean comic, and if you like Jim Gaffigan, give Nate Bargatze a try.
5) I read two good books to start off Black History Month. Sadeqa Johnson's immersive historical novel The House of Eve is set in 1950's Philadelphia. When 15 year-old Ruby Pearsall falls in love with a Jewish boy whose family owns a local coffee shop, her dreams of being the first person in her family to go to college are in peril. In Washington DC, Eleanor Quarles finds herself far from her small-town Ohio roots when she attends Howard University, where she falls in love and marries William, the son of a well-to-do Black family. They are a loving couple who want to have a baby, only to be disappointed. Ruby and Eleanor both have challenges that keep them from achieving their goals, and Sadeqa Johnson writes characters that are three-dimensional and realistic (I liked that the men in their lives are loving and supportive). You get a true feeling for the hardships that women at that time faced. The ending is particularly pleasing, it made me smile.Goldie Taylor's memoir The Love You Save is for fans of Tara Westover's Educated and Sarah M. Broom's The Yellow House. Taylor shares her story of growing up in a tough East St. Louis neighborhood in the 1970's. Her mother leaves a young Goldie at her Aunt Gerald and Uncle Ross' house, where there are several other relatives living at any one time. Goldie's saving grace is her thirst for an education and her talent for speech that earns the attention of a few good teachers who encourage Goldie. The memoir shares the resilency of the human spirit and how it can overcome obstacles. I truly loved this, and my full review can be found here.
Stay warm and safe until next time.
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